4 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Sunday Mail Editor Bailed

Photo: The Herald
Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi.

SUSPECTED shadowy Facebook character and blogger widely known as Baba Jukwa, Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi -- who is facing charges of attempting to subvert a constitutionally-elected government by waging "cyber-terrorism" against the Zimbabwean government, was yesterday granted US$5 200 bail by High Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa.

Kudzayi's bail was granted through the state's consent, subject to stringent conditions.

As part of his bail conditions Kudzayi was ordered to deposit US$5 000 for the main charge and US$200 for violating the firearms act.

He was further ordered to report twice a day at CID Law and Order, surrender his Gmail account password, surrender his passport and title deeds to his parents' Hillside property, not to interfere with state witnesses and investigations and not to leave the 40km radius from Harare Main Post Office without the leave of the court.

Responding to Kudzayi's bail application by his lawyer Admire Rubaya, Chief Law Officer Tawanda Zvekare in his written response said: "In this instant case, although applicant (Kudzayi) is a flight risk since he is well-connected with the outside world having lived and worked in the United Kingdom for a very long time and is facing very serious charges which if convicted is likely to face a lengthy period of imprisonment.

"It is conceded that the bail conditions proposed by the defence may well allay the fears of the state that applicant will not stand trial ... "

After being denied bail at the magistrates' court a week ago, Kudzayi challenged the state to engage Facebook owners Mark Zuckerburg and his firm to ascertain the Internet Protocol Address (IP) of the person who set up the account as well as its administrators, contrary to police claims.

In his founding affidavit filed at the High Court, Kudzayi said he was being incriminated by the state using information he personally provided after being requested to do so by the Ministry of Defence.

He further argued that the Gmail account created for the administration of Baba Jukwa's Facebook account was set up while he was in the United Kingdom and the said Econet line had not been acquired by his brother then.

Meanwhile Kudzayi's brother Phillip, also arrested on the same allegations, is today expected to appear at the High Court for his bail application which failed to be heard yesterday.

Zvekare told the court that the state had not had ample time to go through the "voluminous court application" in order to file a proper response to Phillip's application.

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InFocus

Sunday Mail Editor Gets Bail in Zimbabwe

Sunday Mail editor, Edmund Kudzayi.

The editor of a government-owned weekly newspaper, Edmund Kudzayi,  who is facing charges ranging from insurgency, terrorism, banditry, to sabotage has been granted bail. Read more »